The Remaking of Kim Jong Il

How--and why--the world's scariest dictator made himself into a huggy bear

When Kim Jong Il succeeded his father as leader of North Korea six years ago, he was lampooned by the rest of the world as a pudgy playboy who drank cognac while his countrymen barely subsisted, many of them reduced to eating roots. He favored James Bond and Daffy Duck in his collection of some 20,000 videotapes. He was a lush who once showed up at a meeting so drunk that his father had him thrown out. Nobody had heard him utter anything more than "Glory to the heroic Korean People's Army!" He had a Howard Hughes-like obsession about germs, was...

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